50 Over 50 Project for 2020


Joan Armstrong

Age: 68


"Don’t take yourself too seriously – it all evens out over time."

Age: 68
Profession: CMA for OB/GYN Women’s Health Care & Primary Care Medicine

What is the best thing about being your age?

What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
The loss of beloved family and friends. Betrayals from people that I loved and trusted. Fighting my way back from injuries that threatened to curtail my life.
Hard lessons, but if you pay attention they will teach you valuable lessons about resiliency.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My almost 50 year marriage, two children who are my best friends, and three beautiful grandchildren (I’m not taking credit for them though).

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A campfire around a High Sierra lake with family and friends sharing stories and laughs.

What is your most treasured possession?
A gold necklace given to me by my grandmother. I wear it all the time to keep a little piece of her with me.

What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
Travel! I love history and iconic landmarks in Europe – sunsets at the Eiffel Tower,
gondola rides in Venice, dawn at Stonehenge, the Berlin Wall, the Colosseum in Rome – trying to imagine what it was like for people in these places throughout history. I’m eternally curious.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would pay more attention to money.

What is your greatest fear?
I try not to dwell on that.

What is a trait you are most proud of?
If I am your friend or loved one I can be counted on to go the extra mile for you.

What do you most value in your friends?
A sense of adventure, humor, loyalty – also a love of music doesn’t hurt.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel and concert tickets.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Aim higher - you’re smarter than you think.

What is your favorite motto or quote?
“A ship is safe in the harbor but that’s not what ships are for.”
I read this right before making an important decision in my life and it was good advice, and still helps me when I’m playing it too safe.
Also: “Do small things with great love” – Mother Teresa.

Additional thoughts for younger women...
Don’t take yourself too seriously – it all evens out over time.